Wednesday, May 16, 1945

The Charlotte News

Wednesday, May 16, 1945


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Sixth Division Marines were engaged in a fierce battle on the edge of Naha, in the vicinity of Sugar Loaf Hill, after recapturing ground lost to the Japanese in the most costly counter-attack thus far of the campaign, launched at around midnight on Monday.

Marines of the 22nd Regiment, veterans of Eniwetok and Orote Peninsula, had been shoved back 200 yards across a valley to the left of Naha before they were able to turn the enemy back on itself. One American company had only two men remaining of 240. Headquarters reported that the Marines had repulsed the enemy and driven them back with heavy losses inflicted. The battle continued all night relentlessly and into the day. Rear echelon troops including support troops, cooks and bakers, were forced into the fight. At least 400 enemy dead were counted by noon.

Said Brig. General William Clement, assistant commander of the Sixth Marine Division, "We are well bled but we'll crush those damned buzzards before it's over."

A British broadcast based on a Reuters dispatch indicated that Naha had been taken by the Americans.

A promontory providing a strategic observation point, Chocolate Drop Hill, was seized by the 77th Infantry Division.

Trapped Japanese in Davao on Mindanao fought against the 24th Infantry Division in savage hand-to-hand combat, both sides utilizing bayonets, knives, fists, helmets, and wrestling moves, in twelve-foot high cogon grass within the foothills between the Talomo and Davao Rivers. Five waves of enemy troops attacked in this manner, the first group numbering about 75. Some of the men rolled into the river where at least two of the Americans held their enemies under water until drowned. Following the last wave, only a few Japanese remained and those fled into the hills.

To the northwest, the 31st and 40th Divisions were moving as pincers toward a large enemy garrison in Bukidnon Province, where most of the remaining 50,000 Japanese were believed to be holed up. General MacArthur announced that 90 percent of Mindanao and 95 percent of its population, at least 400,000 people, had been liberated. But the Japanese salient west of Davao continued to resist, employing suicide attacks.

In northeast New Guinea, Sixth Division Australians cleared the northern portion of the Sauri villages.

Supreme Allied Headquarters made clear that the Allies did not recognize the Doenitz regime as a constitutional government of Germany and were planning a long, strict occupation of the country. The plans was to eradicate completely Germany's war-making capability and to assure that war criminals were caught and punished. Admiral Doenitz and other selected Nazis were being used to administer temporarily the distribution of food, to conduct disarmament, and provide medical care for the German armed forces. They were doing so only under the supervision of Allied military personnel.

Nazi prisoners, such as Hermann Goering, were being placed in prisons where they would be less comfortable. Doenitz was also now being held as a prisoner of war.

German officers were to be utilized to help rebuild Europe.

The first four grades of German schools were to be reopened soon, with new textbooks purged of militarism.

The four Allied zones of occupation were to be designated within a few days.

Prime Minister Churchill generally echoed the remarks with respect to the Allied control of Germany and that Germans would be used for administration purposes.

In London, General Eisenhower enjoyed his first night out in three years, calling it the nicest night he had experienced since the beginning of the war. He received the cheers of West End crowds as people mulled around him and patted him on the back, shouting, "Good old Ike."

The General who had successfully commanded the Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe, as well as in North Africa, attended the musical "Strike It Again", accompanied by General Omar Bradley, also the recipient of several ovations. Comedian Ed Fields announced to the audience that the two generals were present and General Eisenhower then spoke briefly: "I wonder if you people realize what it means to me to be back here among friends—among people whose language I can almost speak."

The audience suddenly stopped cheering, looked at one another dumbfounded, and walked out.

The generals and their entourage had dinner after the show at Ciro's.

One impertinent lad came to General Eisenhower and said, "Whatchu mean, mate, ye can't speak our language? Is that some sort o' insult?"

General Patton also arrived in London this date, apparently without notice by anyone, save, perhaps, George Bernard Shaw.

A late test of the new 45-ton General Pershing tanks had proved on the Western front that they were the equal of the German Tigers and Panthers. But, they entered the battle so late that there was little armor on the field remaining of the enemy with which to render a complete test. It was unlikely that the Pershing would see action in the Pacific because of the confined spaces and because the weight of the tank made it impractical for amphibious landing. The Sherman tanks had been thus far more than adequate to deal with the relatively puny armor of the Japanese.

British Labor Minister Ernest Bevin announced that Britain hoped to release more than 750,000 men from its armed forces by the end of 1945. The ultimate number of releases, however, would depend on the extent of commitment necessary in the war against Japan. Releases would begin June 18.

Happy birthday. Walking yet?

In San Francisco, a plan proposed by the United States to afford emergent action by individual blocs of nations pending United Nations action appeared set to be approved at the United Nations Conference. The plan was aimed at the Pan-American bloc which had sought the ability to act concertedly, independent of the U. N. Security Council. The compromise formula still kept the blocs subject to the Security Council but permitted autonomous action until a vote could be taken authorizing or not the use of force to repel aggression within the region of the bloc. American officials stated that the plan would not alter the modern Monroe Doctrine.

The primary remaining issue was that of the trusteeships over conquered territory, especially in the Pacific islands.

In explaining Russian strategy to place the Western powers on the spot, special correspondent John F. Kennedy wrote this date, under the sub-heading "Another Monkey Wrench":

[The Russians] then further complicated the question of trusteeship by advocating independence for all dependent people be written into the charter.

It put the British in an embarrassing position. The British have no intention of liquidating the Empire and we could not come out against a principle like "independence."

We juggled the ball and then came forward in favor of "self-government" for dependent people.

Prague radio broadcast an urgent appeal to the United States and Britain for help for American and British prisoners starving in a Nazi concentration camp at Terezin, northeast of Prague. About 5,000 were reported to be ill and from 80 to 100 dying daily.

The Nazis made sure that they had some good propaganda weapons left behind for idiots to latch onto as basis on which to castigate the Allies for being so mean as to seek to liberate these camps and upset a good system, leaving the internees starving. Indeed, some idiots to this day maintain that the Allies cut off the supply system to the camps by means of the bombing campaign which led to the starvation. Those idiots fail to take into account who it was that put the persons in these camps to begin with, as slave labor and as purely political prisoners based on ethnicity and religion. Always think before you take doses of these idiots' self-promoting cyanide.

The wife of Heinrich Himmler stated that she believed that her husband was dead, that he had been killed along with Hitler and the other Reich leaders in the fighting for Berlin. Frau Himmler and her daughter were discovered by Americans of the 88th Division on Sunday in a comfortable mountain chalet fifteen miles north of Bolzano in the Italian Tyrol. She further stated that her husband, "the Reichsfuehrer", as she referred to him, alternating with "Himmler", and all of the other Nazi leaders were better off dead. She was initially afraid that her captors were going to kill her and cried when told she would be treated fairly. She was to be classified as a displaced person and not a prisoner.

Beginning June 3, the Government announced, cigarettes would be rationed in all armed services facilities and in prisoner of war camps, limiting allotment to six packs of cigarettes, 24 cigars, or four ounces of smoking tobacco per week.

The Anti-Trust Division of the Justice Department had filed suit against Electric Storage Battery Co. of New Jersey and its subsidiary, Willard Storage Battery Co. of Cleveland, for allegedly keeping off the market a long-life nickel-cadmium storage battery which could have assisted markedly the war effort. The companies were alleged to have been party to international cartel agreements dating back to 1891 to divide world markets and eliminate competition in the manufacture and sale of storage batteries. As a result, they had conspired to keep out of the country nickel-cadmium batteries manufactured in Germany, Great Britain, and France.

And in Schenectady, the sixth grade at Draper school would no longer be privy during the remainder of the school year to a textbook which described the Japanese as "friendly, beauty loving, alert, clean and intelligent", as contained in The Old World and It's Gilts. The book would be subjected to study by the Board of Education for further inclusion or not within the curriculum.

Whether contributing to the book's contingent exclusion was the apparently poor spelling within its title was not clarified.

Albany, N.Y., schools resolved the problem by simply stapling the offending pages together and allowing the remainder of the book to be retained by students as it contained, according to the superintendent, "excellent material" otherwise.

Whether there would be daily inspections to determine whether the staples had been removed to peek inside at the verboten material was not indicated.

On the editorial page, "Judge Lynch Returns" begins by relating of a Marine from Guadalcanal who had returned home to California over a year previously to find the American Legion conducting what he thought to be an inquisition of Japanese Americans, writing in response a strong letter of protest to Time.

Now, Secretary of Interior Harold Ickes was speaking out against the widespread terrorism being directed toward Japanese Americans in California as they returned from evacuation camps. These vigilantes were hoodlums, said the Secretary, who wanted merely to take the farms and businesses involuntarily abandoned by the Nisei at the time of their displacement in 1942. There had been fifteen shooting attacks without suspects being taken into custody, an attempted dynamiting, three arson cases, and five "threatening visits" by vigilantes.

The piece wholeheartedly endorses the stand of Mr. Ickes and finds the persecution of a minority to be of national concern. The returning evacuees had been checked thoroughly for loyalty, were all American citizens, and deserved proper treatment. Many had sons fighting for America in the war, had fought with distinction in Italy and the Philippines, and were fighting still on Okinawa.

"Cotton's New Day" reports that the cotton industry, threatened in the post-war period by competition from new fibers, was still punching, had spent a million dollars on advertising and research, that the Commodity Credit Corporation had, without reducing cotton prices, managed to cut surplus by five million bales, and a prominent Southern banker of Hartsville had announced that the South now had sufficient capital to develop its own industry.

All of these developments suggested that cotton still had a future in the South.

So, in consequence, perhaps, did deeply embedded racism.

"Shots in Parting" remarks on Tennessee Senators Kenneth McKellar and Tom Stewart, not being able to prevent the re-confirmation of David Lilienthal as head of TVA, having resorted to calling him names. Mr. Lilienthal had done a good job and deserved a second nine-year term.

Senator McKellar had objected to him because he resisted the Senator's attempts to make TVA a source of pork-barrel politics and allow the Senator to appoint his choices to TVA jobs. Thus, the Senators were reduced to personal invective rather than substance in attacking Mr. Lilienthal.

"Pronounced Failing" complains of catchy product names too hard to understand or pronounce and thus too hard to purchase. Examples given were SLASEM, a rat and pest killer, SkipFlea, Outdamspot—which we kind of like, as long as it works as well as Bon Ami.

It recalls when golfers stopped putting their balls on little wet mounds of sand and started using Reddy Tees, even when some of them were yellow.

The editorial recounts of a fellow whom the editor knew who was going to replace Reddy Tees with Her Reddy Tee, with an ad showing a pretty girl teeing up her ball in preparation for the championship stroke of the driver.

The piece struggles to understand what genes had to do with it, only because it did not, as we just did, continue the figure unto its Ultima Thule.

In any event, it offers hope that with all the nu products shure to come after the war, the public would be able to wreckinize—and probably wax poetic in Simonization also—Them.

But, what about that catchy heading "Cotton's New Day"?

"The Know-How" regales the men of the Navy, both American and British, for having taken down the early threat in the war presented by the U-boat and its Wolfpacks. The Reichsmarine had suffered finally the greatest defeat of any aspect of Germany's war machine. Now, the last of them, "with jaws still bloody from their kills" were surrendering to the Allies. In the last three weeks of the war, they had struck blows against three ships, sinking a collier and one other vessel, while damaging a third.

Having once hounded Allied shipping across the Atlantic, in the Caribbean, and in the Mediterranean, they had been gradually brought to heel by the increscent skill commensurate with experience of American and British anti-submarine warfare.

The excerpt from the Congressional Record finds Representative William Cole of Missouri questioning why it was required to include in the appropriations bill for the Congress for the following fiscal year a salary and staff for the Vice-President when there was none.

Representative Emmet O'Neal of Kentucky responded that the House did not touch items in the budget reserved to the Senate and vice versa.

Mr. Cole persisted in stressing that surely there would be no salary reserved for the Vice-President, to which Mr. O'Neal reiterated that it was matter to be left exclusively to the Senate to determine. He then expressed the belief that the entire body was familiar with the normal appropriations for the operations of the Legislative Branch, that it was an economical bill and that the actual operating budget was about 30 million dollars, of which the Congressional operating expenses amounted to 25 million, with the House accounting for 13 million.

Drew Pearson first deals with a series of matters, starting with the questions regarding French leadership and whether former Premier Edouard Herriot, who had remained in France during the war as an opponent of the Nazis, could be brought to the United States to cement relations with France based on bungling by General De Gaulle and the State Department.

He next reports of many people being unhappy with the fact of Pierre Laval being brought to trial because of the papers which he had which might come to light and compromise some in high positions among the Allies. Likewise was the concern regarding a trial of Henri Petain, who even had a signed treaty with Churchill. Speculation had arisen as to whether the summary execution of Mussolini had been motivated by a desire to keep him from revealing secrets at a trial. A trial of Hermann Goering would likely unravel the mystery, Mr. Pearson ventures, of Rudolf Hess's "escape" from Germany by small plane in April, 1941, landing in Scotland.

After a series of short snippets of this and that, including Bernard Baruch's plan laid forth to President Truman to streamline the Cabinet and possibly include Mr. Baruch as one of the new appointees, he turns to the San Francisco Conference again.

V. M. Molotov had favored a three-fourths voting majority for all issues so that the Americas, with 20 countries, plus Liberia and the Philippines, could not dominate all issues as a voting bloc. Compromise had been sought by others whereby all important votes would be by three-fourths majority and all simple amendments to Dumbarton Oaks proposals by simple majority.

Others had asserted that the Americas would not vote in alignment against the rest of the world. But in the end, with the majority rule in place, the American countries all voted together on all important issues during the entire following week, proving Mr. Molotov correct.

Samuel Grafton addresses the reconversion process domestically, that the worst shortage in the coming year would be in food, but that there would be no famine. It might well be the case, however, that it would become easier to buy the refrigerator which had been withheld from the market for three years than it would to buy a steak to put in it. It would be a situation which likely would stimulate the demagogues to ask why, when the European war was won, the country had little meat, sugar, or fats.

During the prior year, food was relatively in good supply because the country could not get food to the people of Western Europe and Italy. Now, steel would be relatively plentiful but food would be going abroad to feed the hungry of Europe. Moreover, the soldiers in Europe and in the Pacific would still need to be fed.

War Mobilizer Fred Vinson had stated that there would be 35 pounds less meat available per person than in 1944, and seven pounds less butter than in ordinary times.

The period of re-adjustment would find some war plants shutting down, meaning unemployment in some areas just as the retailers would begin selling new goods.

There was some indication that taxes might be lowered within a year.

All of these changes suggested retention of wage and price controls for a period of time during reconversion. For it might be harder to fight half a total war than a whole one.

Only by understanding the strange period ahead would the citizens be able to emerge from it, a better way than suddenly going for a joy ride with more gas in the tank but fewer tires than before on which to make the ride.

A sermon delivered at Myers Park Presbyterian Church in Charlotte by Dr. James A. Jones appears on the page. Pertaining to the relationship between the Church and Labor, we shall let you peruse it for yourself.

"Anything Goes" has a short piece from H. L. Mencken and some even shorter Broadway reviews of unkind critics of unkind plays cut to the quick, cutting even quicker.

It concludes with Mark Twain's "War Prayer", previously partially published on the page two years earlier. It is an heartfelt evocation of the feelings of all persons of all nations engaged in bitter warfare, when honest. It should be recited at your Thanksgiving dinner every year, whether we are at war or not. In so doing, we may remind ourselves of something fundamental about war and thereby seek to avoid it rather than embrace it as a grossly imperfect recollection of the "good old days"—which, most decidedly, they were not.

Framed Edition
[Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>--</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date -- Links-Subj.